What’s New On The Bookshelf? June 2016
If summer means laying around and reading then this article is for you. We’ve found the hottest releases just in time for your summer vacation.
In this month’s On the Bookshelf we’re bringing you the exhibition catalogue of the Danish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. There’s also news on the innovative ways that student residences are being designed, reasons why all architects should travel through Italy, a history of landscape architecture, and a look at the ways Soviet modernism adapted throughout their empire.
Art of Many
The book Art of Many – The Right to Space presents more than 130 contemporary Danish architectural projects in images, drawings and informative texts. The works have been carefully selected by the architect Boris Brorman Jensen and philosopher Kristoffer Lindhardt Weiss, who have been appointed by the Danish Architecture Centre to write the book and curate the official Danish contribution to the 15th International Architecture Biennale 2016 in Venice. It is the first time in many years that such a deep look into contemporary Danish Architecture comes out as a printed book. Not just as a catalogue featuring the exhibition materials but also as independent documentation with many interviews and essays. Art of Many is the story about how a welfare society works closely together with a broad range of architects.
Innovative Student Residences
Current design modes of student residences are facing challenges of both philosophy and form. Past approaches no longer sustain new demands and require innovative thinking. The need for a new outlook is propelled by fundamental changes that touch upon environmental, economic, and social factors.
Thinking innovatively about university accommodation led to the idea to write Innovative Student Residences. The author offers a fascinating insight into contemporary design concepts and illustrates them with outstanding examples, showcased by full-color photography and detailed plans.
Some Reasons for Travelling to Italy
Italian cities have been points of reference for much of architect Peter Wilson’s professional life and the many reasons for visiting the country have long presented themselves as not just the easy list – holidays, food, architecture and culture. The grand tour is the most obvious of tropes for framing these things, but it can also serve as a useful vehicle for a more ingrained understanding into Italy’s wider architectural habitat and cultural mythology. This book, which accompanies an exhibition of the same title at the AA School in 2016, appears in the form of a latter-day Baedeker. But rather than a pragmatic itinerary, its content here offers an eclectic and idiosyncratic list of assorted reasons to head south, richly illustrated by Wilson’s own drawings and watercolours.
The Course of Landscape Architecture
In many ways the history of civilization is a history of humans” relationship with nature. Starting from the dual inclination to clear land for cultivation and to enclose space for protection-the forest clearing and the walled garden-there emerges a vital and multifaceted narrative that describes our cultural relationship to, and dependence on, the landscape. Christophe Girot sets out to chronicle this history, drawing on all aspects of mankind”s creativity and ingenuity. In twelve chapters, he brings together the key stories that have shaped our man-made landscapes. Each chapter consists of a thematic essay that ties together the central developments, as well as a case study illustrated with specially commissioned photographs and meticulously detailed 3D re-creations showing the featured site in its original context.
Tashkent, the southernmost metropolis of millions in the Soviet Union, is a city redolent with architectural contrasts and paradoxes. Home to the most beautiful prefabricated buildings in the world, it features a prominent urban duality predicated upon the oriental Old City and the Russian New City. Never was this contrast brought into sharper focus than during the severe earthquake of 1966 which left the New City relatively unscathed but the Old City in ruins, and more than 200,000 people homeless. Yet one respite was offered: a rebuilding effort which triggered an upsurge of innovation. The city thus became the face of seismic modernism – unprecedented in history, the earthquake stimulated modernisation of urban development in Tashkent. Architects incorporated regional building traditions in their socialist modern designs, including the visually intriguing façade mosaics attributed to the little-known Zharsky brothers. The rebuilding of Tashkent thus provides a perfect example of Soviet ideas about urban planning – in which technical standardisation and social requirements were no more of a contradiction than the design of experimental living concepts and the simultaneous search for an expression of national identity in building.